I’ve come across many articles that purport to understand the “childfree movement” what childfree people think, and why they think it. Oddly the writers of these articles are usually childed, pro-parent and quite ignorant and intolerant of any view that doesn’t dovetail with their accepted one – that reproducing is always good, all the time.
Take this post for instance, which I came across in a recent Google Alert:
Childfree – Selfishness Incarnate or Saavy Living? (Note – I deliberately kept the bad spelling mistake in the link – there are others dotted liberally in the nfpworks article).
The article is so illogical that it actually gave me a bit of a headache reading it. Thankfully, the more than savvy commentators brought some sense of sanity to the article.
It’s hard to believe that someone can really believe
the stuff the sheer idiocy that nfpworks purports. Even if none of it makes sense. Here are some “highlights”
…”Quite literally, their[the childfree movement] whole mission is to throw (jettison is probably a better word) the baby out with the bath water!”
What baby?? How can we throw out a baby when we don’t have them?
“Now doesn’t a sterilised population sound fun? Actually, no. This hurts my heart, soul, mind and body more than I can really say. It’s evil organised and incarnate at worst, and cognitive dissonance at best. I mean really, do these people hate themselves, because it seems to me that unless they were dropped from another planet, they themselves were children once, and oops–thank you to the “fertility idolisers” that were their parents!”
Big words. Apparently it hurts her heart and soul et al… because some of us have decided not to have children? Why exactly? Has she nothing better to do with her life than to concern herself about things that aren’t even her business? My advice?
She needs to get a life. Your own.
She accuses childfree people of being fatuous, narcissistic and, with a wild leap of imagination – sterile. And to cap it all, she’s sure that overpopulation is a myth and that de-population (whatever that is) is the thing to worry about. So of course childfree people are doubly to blame because, well, we’re not breeding to keep the numbers up so that the earth doesn’t run out of people to use its ever expanding resources, perhaps.
It doesn’t hurt her head, heart or any other part of her anatomy to see the thousands of children who are abandoned, abused or worse – because their parents had no business having children in the first place. Because their parents didn’t think deeply enough about the consequences of having them. Or they bought into the myth of maternalism. (Or because they had no access to birth control?) The thousands of children who are in orphanages, because now they’re here, they aren’t wanted. No, what she thinks is ideal is to withhold contraception from people (a la Catholic church) so that breeding should go on unabated. Anyone not wanting to breed is automatically evil. Well, well.
Given that some of the key reasons people give for having children is that “they want to have a copy of themselves, leave their legacy, have a carer in their old age – to name just a few of the myriad other selfish reasons for which many have kids, it seems almost amusing that the fact that having children is one of the most narcissistic actions there is – even if it is dressed up as being selfless – completely escapes nfpworks.
And of all the things that are truly terrible in the world, rape murder, child abuse, child labour, the holocaust, not to mention religious fanaticism (of which the article reeks), of all these things, it is deciding not to have children and being childfree that she finds evil incarnate.
The comments on the other hand are intelligent, refreshing and thoughtful. So it’s no surprise that npfworks doesn’t, or simply can’t address them, perhaps she’s unable to since her “argument” was so flawed to begin with. As Rob says:
“How can you possibly believe that deciding to forgo having children is narcissist? How about having children for no better reason than to further the family name, or as a publicity stunt (as so many celebrities are doing nowadays)? And what does having been a child at one time have to do with your perceived imperative to have children? You’ve trotted out pretty much every tired cliché that parents who somehow feel threatened by someone else’s choice that won’t affect them in the least. Don’t worry your little head: our decision not to have children is not any kind of referendum on your decision to have children.”
And to those who tout having children as the way to suddenly become unselfish and sacrificial – most of us “evil” childfree people find we can do that quite nicely on our own, we don’t need to create another life to understand responsibility, thanks very much. Neither are women compelled, as Rebecca says in her comment, to be breeding machines.
NFPworks – don’t speak on behalf of childfree people, a childfree “movement” or a childfree “paradigm”. As your article shows you clearly know nothing about any of them and, worse, you can’t even be bothered to educate yourself.